John Lindstedt and Matthew-Donald Sangster

John Lindstedt and Matthew-Donald Sangster

Tetris: A Case Study of Human Expertise, presented by John Lindstedt

To better understand how humans manage to acquire highly complex skills with a high degree of competency, we must both a) develop tools for assessing expert performance, and b) interrogate that human performance to understand how it changes as skill is acquired. This work takes a wide range of human performance in the video game Tetris as its primary case study of a complex cognitive task. In this talk I present a brief review of my work in multiple linear regression models of human expertise in Tetris, and present my extensions to this work: a factor analysis of human behavioral features in search of more meaningful underlying metrics of performance; analysis of experimental work identifying how different task conditions affect players at different levels of skill; and (work pending) a qualitative analysis of survey data to illuminate the role of high-level strategies in acquiring skill. 

Initial Strategy Acquisition and Formation, presented by Matthew-Donald Sangster
One of the most important aspects to improving at a task is the acquisition and manipulation
of appropriate strategies. However, little is known about the nature of this
strategy acquisition, especially in regards to the initial strategies we use. Initial strategies
are crucial to understanding task improvement because people are more likely to maintain
their initial strategy than abandon it or even change strategies without proper motivation
(Boot, Becic, & Kramer, 2009). However, these results are only necessarily applicable to
visually dynamic tasks. Therefore, in an attempt to understand the development of initial
strategies we will look to the visually dynamic game Tetris™ as a task environment. This
task environment, among other benefits, provides a narrow range of likely initial strategies
and large overlap with visual search tasks. Therefore, we will examine novice and beginner
gameplay for adherence to visual search principles and common visual search strategies.